Oregon police officer who fired at wrong car settles with community

Daniel Hersl has faced charges for use of deadly force while responding to wrong address in 2012

The first and only case ever to go to restorative justice mediation has been resolved in Oregon state.

Daniel Hersl, the former police officer facing charges for firing his weapon into a car containing four black people after officers called to the wrong address, was given $200 for a January 31 donation to a local outreach organisation, LifeLine.

Hersl faced four counts, including aggravated murder, assault and attempted assault, but on Thursday the attorney general decided to dismiss the charges.

Hersl had faced a hearing before the grand jury at which he was cleared of all charges. However, the judge gave prosecutors the option of using restorative justice to settle the case before trial.

“I think we wanted justice for the four families,” said Willamette Week editor Kent Libray. “But I think what we also wanted to do was to restore trust in law enforcement. There was a notion that the justice system was blind. The justice system isn’t.”

Hersl was originally cleared in a July 2013 inquiry into the deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, but a judge overturned the decision on procedural grounds.

Less than a week after the ruling, Hersl resigned.

The vehicles were found with three of the occupants critically injured and one non-fatally shot, after their car had fled police after being called to the wrong address.

The investigation concluded that Hersl had acted lawfully but became public focus after photos of the destruction of the two vehicles were circulated.

Hersl had worked for more than 15 years in law enforcement. He resigned after being indicted and ended up fighting to clear his name, something which he did by seeking justice.

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